I had another fabulous week! I am so lucky to have a wonderful bunch of grade two students this year that bring a positive energy into our classroom. After a busy week I was fortunate to get to spend time with my fiancé Damon this weekend because he has been working for three weeks straight. We were able to get a lot of wedding planning done and we got to meet with our photographer yesterday as well! I also got to visit with my friend from high school while I was back home Saturday night. The best part about the weekend was spending time with Damon, my parents, siblings, brother-in-law, and my amazing nephew yesterday. I love being able to call, text, and Facetime my family, but nothing beats spending quality time with loved ones in person. It is important to have balance in your life, but often times I get so wrapped up into work and school that I need to remind myself about balance.
It is crazy to believe in just in two days that it will already be October. I have learned so much in the last few weeks through taking my social media graduate class. On our way home last night I was able to read fellow students posts on our class Google Community plus account and blogs about their digital projects, resources they have found or are using, and Tuesday night’s class using the Google Community plus app on my phone. After reflecting on some of my classmates posts I can relate to mixed feelings about blackboard collaborate. Since I live two hours away from the university I appreciate not having to get out of the school fast at the end of the day to get to the city for an evening class. Then when class is over I do not have to drive back after a busy day and not get home until late. (Sometimes as late as midnight depending on the traffic and how fast I was able to get out of the city). I have found it easy to log into and I have been lucky that I have not had any major problems and glitches with blackboard collaborate. I like that students can be interactive and some of the tools available such as the raise your hand button to get the speakers attention. On Tuesday David Cormier talked to us about Rhizomatic Learning. The class had a great atmosphere which led to some fantastic conversations. At times it was overwhelming to follow what everyone was saying on the chat and listening to David at the same time. I wanted to be engaged in both aspects of the class, but it is an exciting problem because there were important questions and discussions that come out of the presentation. I did re-watch some of the class and saved the chat so I was able to reread everyone’s comments and questions during our class.
During last Tuesday nights class it made me reflect about my experience when I was a grade two representative for the east side of our school division on the Early Learning Committee. When we met we explored many great resources from the Ministry and other professional development books and articles that focused on early learning. I encourage everyone to check out the link that looks at the principles of early learning. I believe these principles should be called the principles of learning because all four of the principles are important for all students and can be adapted for older students.
During the learning committee meetings we also discussed inquiry, student’s interests, and what the classroom would look like if teachers chose topics/projects that students were interested in. We explored the Reggio Emilia approach and philosophy in early learning and how to use that model when teaching older grades while teaching curricular outcomes. Here is on link that discusses the Reggio Emilia approach and I also added in some quotes that stood out of my mind when reading this article. It reminded me about what David said about Rhizomatic Learning.
- “Children are capable of constructing their own learning.”
- “They are driven by their interests to understand and know more.”
- “The adult is a mentor and guide.”
Last year I set up learning invitations with students and did a few learning projects as a class while meeting curricular outcomes. I found it really worked with science and that I need to begin to use this method in more subject areas. I am looking forward to setting up projects that students want to do based on their interests and what they want to learn about while continuing to meet curricular outcomes.